It stormed for a couple more hours last night and I kept waking up to make sure my gear in the tent was staying relatively dry, not that I would have made a run for the shelter any way since stepping out of the tent would have soaked me. Then this morning I was woken up early by Odie shaking my tent and talking about town day. Apparently I didn’t emerge quickly enough because he then recruited fifteen girls from the church group to surround my tent and sing songs. Obviously I can’t yell at a bunch of young girls singing about Jesus to go away and leave me alone. Well played, sir.
I packed up my damp gear, ate a quick breakfast, and started hiking. The guide said there’d be some ruins coming up, which I love. I completely missed the small cemetery it mentioned but I did find the chimney in the cabin ruins.
It didn’t take long to get the 5.2 miles to the road and it was just starting to sprinkle when we got there. There was a list of trail angels and phone numbers saying these people all provided free rides to Waynesboro. Another hiker waiting nearby said he was already waiting for a trail angel and she’d be back soon in a van so we could hop in there. We went to wait under a tree and it started raining harder. More hikers came off the trail and started grabbing hitches and meanwhile, the few of us who had gotten to the road first were still waiting in the rain. Eventually a hiker came up in a rental car with trail magic sodas and beers and snacks. It started raining even harder so she decided not to wait and offered us a ride back to town. It was going to be a tight squeeze with five hikers and a dog and just as we were getting ready to pile in, another car pulled over.
Sharkey, a former 3x thru hiker, offered us a ride to town. Stretch and Odie and I went with him and then he invited us back to his house. He said we could grab a few more hikers too so we ran by the Chinese buffet to grab lunch and Jungle Jym. Then we ran over to a motel to get Storytime, who’d already reserved a room for the night. The manager eventually let him out of it with a late checkout fee. We all got into Sharkey’s two door car and ran over to Walmart to resupply and get dinner and breakfast stuff. It was even more interesting fitting all of us into the car with the added groceries.
We made it back to Sharkey’s house on a gorgeous property. After showers and laundry, we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the porch, watching The Princess Bride, playing with chickens, and sitting in the hot tub. Awesome evening.